Mori has innovated a breakthrough technology that dramatically slows food spoilage and reduces the potentially negative environmental impacts of other food preservation methods. It uses a naturally derived silk protein—which comes from Bombyx mori silkworms—to create an edible, flavorless protective barrier that is applied to food and slows down dehydration, oxidation, and microbial growth.
Each year, approximately $1 trillion worth of food is lost or wasted worldwide—enough to feed two billion people. The United States alone wastes about 40 percent of the food it produces. This global food loss and waste is a major contributor to climate change, since rotting food raises atmospheric methane levels. Climate change, in turn, increasingly disrupts food supply chains and exacerbates global hunger. Mori’s silk-derived protective layer helps prevent food waste and also reduces the need for single-use plastic, wax, fungicides, and other chemicals normally used to preserve food.
Mori’s protective layer can be applied to all kinds of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood, both whole and cut. These foods can be sprayed with the protective layer or dunked in it at any point from farm to shelf. The protective layer is ultra-thin—about the same thickness as two red blood cells—and does not alter food in any way, even as it protects it. It reduces the need for expensive and polluting plastic and enables the use of alternative packaging.
King Philanthropies’ investment in Mori is helping pioneer its unique approach to extending a food’s shelf life—one which reduces food waste, minimizes climate impact, contributes to sustainable supply chains, and makes healthy food more accessible to more people by keeping it fresh for longer.